Leaving Neverland Director Hits Back After Michael Jackson's Estate Slams Documentary - Music News
The four-hour expose centres on claims from James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who state the musician, who died in 2009, sexually abused and manipulated them when they were children.
The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and was quickly slammed by Jackson's estate, who released a statement condemning Reed and the other people involved in the making of the project.
“Leaving Neverland isn’t a documentary, it is the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death," the lengthy statement read in part. "The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact. These claims were the basis of lawsuits filed by these two admitted liars which were ultimately dismissed by a judge."
However, Reed has now responded, telling USA Today the statement makes it clear the representatives of the estate haven't seen his film.
"How can you call a four-hour documentary 'tabloid'? That beats me," he mused. "It's pretty much what you'd expect them to say. The statement contains nothing that is of concern and no substantial criticism of the film. They obviously haven't seen it, and I'm not engaging with the substance of what they're saying."
While Reed considered including testimonies of other people who claim to have been abused by Jackson, he eventually decided that "the film is the story of James Safechuck and Wade Robson".
"No one else was in the bedroom with them," he added. "If there are people out there who were also intimate with Michael Jackson and spent many nights with him in bed that were not molested, that's fine. It doesn't in any way negate the story of these two individuals. So for the estate to say, 'Well, you haven't spoken with other people who weren't molested by Michael Jackson' is absurd."